Centralized decisions on local technological innovation
Decisions to innovate which do not come in response to local requests are not met with the necessary preparation in mindset, mores and willingness to change. Often the imposed technology, while tackling an area of critical importance, does not take full advantage of the available resources or consider the disparities in societal types. Thus innovation is blocked until a major localization of the prioritizing process occurs.
From the sixties onwards there have been initiated in Europe many initiatives for international technological research and product development, but to date these have been largely unsuccessful. As much as 95% of European industrial research funding is used for specific technological improvements in a firm's existing products. There is very little interest in or funding for independent technological research.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.